E-books & Sci-fi, a perfect match?

I stumbled upon this statistic a few days ago and found it to be interesting, especially given the ongoing “are e-books destroying/saving traditional publishing” debate.

According to a recent analysis, both science fiction and romance are “overperforming” when it comes to e-books. Science Fiction/Fantasy, in fact, has a 10% share in the medium, more than triple its share in traditional print (though trad. print sales in the genre seem to be declining). (source article)

It seems that the explanation lies more with the types of readers (and their reading habits) that these genres attract than the genre itself. Though personally, when I think of the type of book that I’d most want to own a physical copy of, it would be works in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Cool covers, collectible series/trilogies… there are tons of reasons I prefer traditional print. But then again, I’ve never actually read an e-book so I might be a little biased and/or out-of-the-loop!

Nick wonders which side of the e-book debate aliens would fall on. Of course, they’ve probably got something WAY fancier by now…

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Filed under Nick James

5 responses to “E-books & Sci-fi, a perfect match?

  1. Natalie Aguirre

    I haven’t read an e-book yet either. I prefer hard cover books for the reasons you said. Interesting that SF/fantasy has a 10% share of the market.

  2. I agree that it’s a demographic match of readers rather than something inherent in the genre. Just as science fiction fans led the way in using the internet, so that group contains a lot of early adapters for electronic books.

    The overperformance of romance in digital formats is more interesting to me because it defies stereotypes.

  3. E-book rights are something that come up in the discussion every time I negotiate a new contract. I bring them up, my agent rolls his eyes.


    Though YA is out of the loop with all things E-book right now, yesterday I read a NYT piece about how kids would like to read ebooks but there’s nothing really there for them yet…

    …except for SFF.
    I’ve read ebooks before – I have an ANCIENT Palm Pilot, nothing new, but I learned to load things on it for dentist trips and airports long before ebooks got cool. I still, and always will, prefer print books, but I’ll be glad to see authors get their due in the electronic format… so far only publishers are benefiting.

    Which is another topic altogether.

  4. Parker Peevyhouse

    I wonder if it’s also something to do with sf publishers–maybe they’re more inclined to appreciate technology and therefore put more sf books in the ebook format. Or maybe they’re anticipated that sf fans would be more interested in ebooks than your usual reader.

    I like reading ebooks. But I also like having paper copies to pass along to friends.

  5. I don’t have an ebook reader (waiting for the price to come down), but both Kindle and Nook have free readers you can download to a computer. I love sitting in bed with my laptop, reading. I don’t even have to hold the book! (Note: I am well over 30.)

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